Stories from New Homeschoolers: The Life Lessons We've Learned

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Stories from New Homeschoolers: The Life Lessons We've Learned

In the Sonlight Connections group (membership for anyone with a free account on and the Teacher Connection group (membership offered to qualified new Sonlighters), we asked brand new, unexpected homeschoolers about their biggest takeaway now that they have a few months of homeschooling under their belts. We asked:

  • What has homeschooling in 2020 taught you so far?
  • What deep insights have you gained about teachers, parenting, yourself as a person, your children, your family dynamics, etc.?

While no one said that homeschooling is a walk in the park, many moms expressed surprise at how much easier it is than they expected, especially compared to the misery of online learning.

Here are just a few of the surprise perks they've discovered about homeschooling:

  • family closeness
  • happy kids
  • flexible daily schedules

If you've ever thought, "I could never homeschool," read through these insights. Most of these moms thought the same thing before they were forced to homeschool. Happily they discovered that homeschooling is not only doable but enjoyable and offers immense benefits to their families.

Some even went to far to express thanks for the situation that forced them to choose homeschooling for 2020. While no one is happy about a global pandemic, we rejoice in the silver linings God brings us in the midst of heavy trials.

[Some responses have been shortened for brevity and lightly edited.]

Precious Family Time and Family Closeness

"I've learned that homeschooling is one of the best ways I've found to connect with my kids on multiple levels."

Emily A.

"The biggest takeaway is that I’m so thankful for this precious time together to be the ones to teach them not only the right way to behave and making right choices but to teach them letters, number, and reading. It’s been such good time together instead of sending them away to school for 40 hours a week. I’ve learned that I need to be more patient with them and I’ve seen things that I need to work on as a parent that I wouldn’t have realized if they weren’t home with me all the time."

Tram P.

"...homeschooling is one of the best ways I've found to connect with my kids..." —Emily A.

"My daughter is 15, and this is our first year homeschooling. We read together and discuss every night. Right now we’re reading Carry On, Mr. Bowditch from History / Bible / Literature D+E. Honestly, I feel like I’ve reconnected with my daughter. She’s at 'that age,' and last year we were both so busy with work, school, and activities that I felt like I didn’t have a good idea what was happening with her. We were growing apart, and I hated it. This year I feel like our relationship is much stronger. We talk about her school work and have inside jokes about things we’ve read or watched together. It’s just been a blessing all the way around! ❤️"

Wendy M. G.

"I can’t believe I was missing out on all of this time with my littles. I feel like I am learning just as much as they are. It is really fun to make historical biblical connections. We have a ton of a-ha moments. I love watching the girls play transform as we learn new things. I have never experienced them enjoying each and connecting over shared education. We have had weeks of pretending to be different animals with science or building boats in the living room to be Vikings. We have come outside to neighbors waiting to be taught sled dog school. Needless to say, it’s been an excellent start to year one of homeschooling."

Lindsay Y.

"It's my first year homeschooling my 9-year-old, 7-year-old and 5-year-old. When they would come home from school, they would be so tired of having to be on their best behavior, so they would be short-tempered and tired. Even though we would still have sweet times together as a family in the evenings, I didn't realize until this year just how much I miss from their day when they are away at school. I love enjoying the learning experience right along with them, and I love being a part of the best parts of their day. I've also learned that if I'm not having fun, they aren't either. I need to make sure I am in a good mood and I'm ready to be all in if I expect them to be as well."

Lauren G. S.

"I can’t believe I was missing out on all of this time with my littles."—Lindsay Y.

"We’ve slowed down, we’ve read a lot, we’ve sung and praised and learned more about Jesus. We haven’t pushed things when the mood isn’t right. We’ve peeled our eyes from screens, we’ve had huge math breakthroughs. I can’t be thankful enough that 2020 made me do what I never thought was possible — homeschool. And we LOVE Sonlight."

Summer S.

I Can Actually Teach My Children!

"My biggest take away from homeschooling in 2020 is that homeschool is easier than homework and distance learning!!"

Katie J. B.

"Our bond is so much better, and I know more about my son and how smart he really is. Also I’m a better teacher then I thought I would be."

Tiffany L.

"I have an 11-, 9-, and 7-year-old plus a 1-year-old running around. I’ve learned that school doesn’t have to take all day (we start when the baby naps in the afternoon), and it’s okay not to get through everything on the list. I love that when my kids are having an off day, I don’t have to fight them to learn. We just do the easier subjects or turn on an educational show or app so they can learn to love learning."

Kim O.

"I’m a better teacher then I thought I would be." —Tiffany L.

"I've learned to relax more and let go of perfection. My expectations have changed, and there is more peace in our home."

Kimberlee G.

Homeschooling Is So Much Better for Kids Academically

"As excellent as my child's teacher's have been through the years [my daughter] still had some significant gaps in her learning... We started homeschooling this year to provide consistency because that's what seemed like was most important this year for her. Even with changing curriculums last month, I have seen her grow and improve (when she wants to--we're still working on her wanting to do stuff!!) so much. We're working on week 4 of Sonlight D and her writing has improved, her spelling has improved, she wants to read her books, and she's mostly excited about learning."

Elisabeth K.

"My children have learned more from Sonlight than they have from public school! Taking time and focusing on places they are struggling is such a blessing for their confidence in their education."

Kayla Michelle D.

"...when you know exactly what your kids are learning, because you’re teaching them yourself, you can find hundreds of ways to build on it each day."—Hilary K. B.

"I have learned that no child is actually at their grade level in every subject. That’s what is so great about homeschooling. You can tailor your year to fit each kid. Not repeating things they already know. You can move faster through things they pick up quickly and take more time on things they struggle with. You can also do more of the activities they find interesting. As a full time working mother, I can flex our school schedule around my work schedule. No more hurry and get on the bus or missed permission slips! Freedom."

Jen B.

"I’ve learned that doing 1/4 of the math you were hoping to do each day, and plugging along peacefully, is far better than meeting your self-imposed goal and ending in tears and tantrums every day.
I’ve learned that so many kids have their own obstacles to learning that make a subject difficult to learn the normal way, and that even the best classroom teacher couldn’t afford to give each child the individual time and customized education that an involved parent can. I’ve also learned that when you know exactly what your kids are learning, because you’re teaching them yourself, you can find hundreds of ways to build on it each day. Yesterday, my daughter and I were in a tub, practicing using surface tension to change the shape of water droplets. And after studying ancient Egypt, we decided to mummify an orange, in the name of science."

Hilary K. B.

"No more hurry and get on the bus or missed permission slips! Freedom."—Jen B.

"I’ve learned that it’s so much easier to teach my girls and home where I can decide when their work is good for their level, than it is to try to help them submit work for online school where you have no idea what the teacher’s expectations are, or the level at which they’re expected to perform. I’ve learned that Sonlight really has thought of everything. The curriculum pages are color coordinated, page numbered, labeled with week numbers and day numbers, and have questions that span all the different readings and activities you do. You can really tell that they’ve been in this business a long time, and all of the wrinkles have been ironed out."

Hilary K. B.

"I have learned that although a school may be full of amazing teachers, it still may not be the best fit for your child. I taught before I had kids, and said I would never teach my own. But Covid hit, and I knew distance learning was not a good fit since we were already struggling with mental health, sensory issues, etc. in the public school setting. This was a God wink to me that we needed to try homeschool at least for a year and although it hasn’t been perfect, life is so much more peaceful and calm. We have the flexibility to do therapies as needed and even try some new activities around our school schedule. I have the utmost respect for teachers who are teaching during this pandemic, but I’m blessed that we found a good fit for our kids."

Rachel Barnett

Homeschooling Brings Our Family Peace

"My kids are happy!! Before Sonlight my daughter struggled with anxiety over math. We tried everything. Day after day she retuned to us in tears. Since starting Sonlight with her and our twin boys , she has returned to her happy self. She loves math! We are learning together, at our speed. No more comparison to other students and test anxiety. Thank you Sonlight for the opportunity to make school a treasured, fun time for all of us."

Cally B.

"My kids are happy!!"—Cally B.

"Homeschooling in 2020 has brought peace and joy in the midst of a very crazy year. I am feeling the joy of learning returning to my family. I am homeschooling 4 kids (3 my own, 1 a friend's). Reading and discussing books has brought us all together from 7th grade down to kindergarten.
My biggest take away is that as a family we can do hard things, and we are able to support each other."

Beth L.

Sonlight Makes it Easy

"I am homeschooling my two boys ages 5 and 7. It has definitely been an adventure, and I mean that in a good way. My older son had a rough year in public school kindergarten last year, and he couldn't be happier with the learning from home. We are using the new [kindergarten] history curriculum and science curriculum and, well, it is amazing. I am so happy that I made the switch and that Sonlight made it so easy."

Julia R.

You can teach your kids at home! A well-planned curriculum makes it so easy, and you can trust that you are giving your kids all the academics they need.

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